you shouldn’t look at your yarn while driving


Good Lord, the day I come home with this yarn I probably came close to driving off the road ten times because I couldn’t stop looking at this yarn.  What a DORK.  I was obsessing over the colors, to be specific.  I had a soon-to-expire groupon to A Tangled Skein and spent about an hour marching around the shop to find the perfect yarn for a gray sweater.  Blah.  Nothing was what I  wanted, but I’m still not sure how that turned into me pairing pea green and sky gray-blue together.  I could not get over how perfect I thought this was.


Unfortunately, I hadn’t figured out how to translate that into a pattern I liked…  I have to admit I’m a little disappointed that all I came up with was stripes.  Had I planned a little more, I probably would have gotten more of one and less of another and knitted a fair isle sweater.  Or colorblocked.  There was a lot of swatching going on.


Project page here.  I used the formula from the Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan to figure out the number of stitches to cast on, then improvised from there.  I added some overlap and buttons on the cuffs and collars – I’m not entirely thrilled with the collar but I like it best with the scarf over it anyways.


Let’s talk about jogless stripes (non-knitters, you may glaze over right about now).  I used this technique [correction: wrong link!  I don’t know about that technique, but THIS is the one I used and it is very simple.  Sorry for the confusion!] and I’m pleased with the lack o’ jog, but as you can see below, despite blocking, you can see the beginning of the round travel in a diagonal across my sweater.  However, that part you see is the worst of it – I learned not to carry the unused yarn in the back of the stitch I’m knitting – it makes the stitch too tight and hence the visibility of the diagonal.  Did I go back and fix that part?  Of course not.  Knit on!

OK non-knitters, you can come back now.


These pictures were taken right after the first sunrise of 2013 in Portland, Maine (another Portland I adore), just like Baltimore 2012 and Naragansett 2011!  I think it gets better every year.



15 thoughts on “you shouldn’t look at your yarn while driving

  1. The sweater is gorgeous!!! I really like the stripes. Your knitting skills are amazing (to me, at least). I should add learning to knit sweaters to my resolutions list 🙂 Lovely sunrise photo too! I can never stay awake long enough on New Year’s Eve to actually see the sunrise 🙂

    • Thank you! Do you have any babies in your life? Because knitting a teeny tiny sweater can be a good place to start.

      Uh, and let me be clear, I was asleep by midnight! Do I sound like some kind of all-night party animal there? Because it’s more like I’m 80 years old. Woops! I’m not into the whole midnight thing as much, so we crash early and treat dawn as the official start of the new year.

      • Now that makes me feel loads better about myself! I was half asleep by 11 (but struggled to stay up until 2 at least). Your way of celebrating New Year’s would suit me soo much better 🙂 Unfortunately my boyfriend would never get up at dawn if he had a choice 🙂

        I was thinking of making a baby sweater first as well! A friend just had a baby boy and there’ll very probably be another baby in our circle of friends this year. I’ve even looked up some free patterns on Ravelry but I never even start because I just don’t know enough about yarn. I mean, socks is easy, you just guesstimate and then try them on during knitting and get them to fit. But with sweaters… I will almost never have access to the exact same yarn that was used for the pattern and then how will I know which one to buy and if it will make the correct size when I knit it up?? That’s just beyond me 😦

      • That’s too bad! The sunrise is awesome! Although there is that moment when the alarm goes off that I think maybe we’ll skip this year 🙂 but I’m always glad once we get there.

        Ooh, OK, a baby sweater is perfect. What you are talking about is gauge – it doesn’t matter if you have the same yarn as the pattern, just the same amount of stitches per inch. Sometimes I don’t even like the yarn the pattern uses.

        Find the gauge listed on your pattern (usually listed per 10cm, or in the US sometimes it’s per 1 inch, I guess that’s 2.5cm? 10cm is 4in) and then find another yarn that lists the same gauge on the label.

        The next part is the most important – knitting a swatch. Even though the yarn you bought may say on the label “20st per 10cm” or whatever, everyone knits different tensions, tighter or looser (for instance, I always knit tighter). So cast on about 20 or 30 st and knit for a few inches, then take a ruler and count how many stitches in either 10cm, or if your swatch is smaller, 5cm and then multiply by two to see if your gauge matches the pattern’s gauge. Some people bind off and block it to be more accurate.

        If you have too many stitches, try a larger needle, and if too few, try a smaller needle. If your gauge is off, the size of your sweater will be different – however, for a baby this is not always a huge problem as long as it’s not too small!

        You can absolutely do it! The first time I did it, I’m not even sure I checked my gauge but somehow it still worked. And when I don’t know a stitch, I just google it and you will always find a video to show you every stitch.

        If you don’t mind asking an employee for help (admittedly, I hate asking for help) they will find the right yarn for you too if you show them the pattern.

        Good luck! Do it!

  2. Thanks SO much, that totally makes sense and sounds way easier than I thought it would be!! Yay! I already picked a pattern and I’ll go find the yarn next weekend. And hopefully I’ll get it all right and maybe even make a sweater for myself after the first try (I’m so getting ahead of myself here, I’m just getting really excited about this…).
    I’m KayKay84 on Ravelry, but I’m only on there about once a year to be honest. Hopefully more often in 2013 🙂

  3. I really like the fit of this sweater and the colors that you chose! I can’t wait to start my own first sweater, and while I know that a baby sweater is a good introduction I want a cardigan for meeeee.

    I’m looking forward to figuring out those instructions on jogless stripes. Read it twice without comprehension, but maybe if I read it with needles in hand I will be able to understand!

    • Thank you! You know what I’m glad you made me look again at that jogless stripes link, because it was the wrong one! I updated it in the post, but here it is again: This one is very simple.

      Go for it if you think you’re ready!! I recommend baby sweaters when people are nervous about the Big One, but if you’re confident about it, go for it! I also did it first because I didn’t know if I could survive the endless hours of stockinette (as in, I hate knitting scarves because it’s monotonous), so the baby sweater felt manageable. I’ve knit like eight sweaters or something since then, so I guess you get over it!

  4. Pingback: green things | awfully nice

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